Jurgen Klopp speaks to Benteke to help the Belgian get back to scoring ways
Liverpool’s German manager Jurgen Klopp has spoken to record £32.5m signing Christian Benteke to help the Belgian striker get back to goal-scoring form. The 25-year-old joined the Reds from Aston Villa in the summer has bagged just seven goals all season and hasn’t scored in the last 11 appearances for Liverpool.
Benteke hasn’t been able to hold down a starting spot under Jurgen Klopp and has often been overlooked with Roberto Firmino leading the attack in big matches against Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal.
Benteke did start in Liverpool’s loss against West Ham in the FA Cup and missed several chances to help his team progress into the next round of the competition.
“I can do a lot of things but at the end – and it is not only with Christian – the last important help comes from the player himself,” the German said.
“I saw really good signs at West Ham. It is not the easiest period of his career but the number of opportunities is a good sign, if he had no opportunities it would be a much bigger problem but it is not too easy. You cannot hide yourself.
“I talked to him a few times and gave him some advice as a human being and a coach and he has really tried to come back to an easy moment. There are worse situations in the world – even in the world of football – so we have to carry on and he has to carry on.”
Pressure will be on Benteke to perform against Villa
Liverpool travel to Villa Park on Sunday and it would be the first time that Benteke visits his old employers. Klopp believes that the striker will be under pressure to perform.
“I have not the best experience with players coming back to former clubs but usually they make more pressure for themselves because they want to make more pressure.
“I don’t know the history with Christian and Aston Villa so I don’t know whether they will welcome him with open arms or whistles but that is not too interesting for me. It is not an issue for me to make a decision, it is professional football and it is only one game a year going to your former club.”
Klopp though will have a few Liverpool stars back in contention for the first team with Philippe Coutinho, Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi returning to full fitness. Liverpool and Aston Villa are in need of points for completely different reasons.
The home side need to string together a run of results if they are to avoid the drop while Liverpool need to keep picking up the wins as their slim chances of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League takes a hit after every loss.